LAHAINA - It started with one garden, then two, and before long, Hawaii school gardens sprung into life everywhere, and with that spread of plant life came the spread of ideas.
Sustainability and malama 'aina are words on every child's tongue at Sacred Hearts School and the schools that participate in the Hawaii School Garden Network.
Having created their own garden at Sacred Hearts, on May 16, Bradley Mason's Sacred Hearts seventh-graders traveled to Lanai High and Elementary School to help spread the love - and the mulch!
Bradley Mason’s Sacred Hearts School seventh-graders traveled to Lanai High and Elementary School to help create a school garden.
Sacred Hearts keiki worked alongside teacher and cohort member Bridgette Beatty's students laying down wet cardboard for weed suppression and compost, and then covering it with wood chips as mulch. The final touch involved spreading seeds of nitrogen-fixing plants to enrich the soil and ready it for planting of crops.
Ku 'Aina Pa (Hawaiian for "Standing Firmly in Knowledge upon the Land") cohort leader Dr. Koh Ming Wei traveled from the Big Island to join the group and lend her expertise to the creation of the garden.
Ming Wei, along with Mason, helped the science behind gardens come to life for the keiki.
The ancient Hawaiians were the ultimate ecologists, understanding the importance of sustainability. It was the underpinning of their existence. They rotated their use of land areas and of fishing spots to ensure that the Earth had a chance to recover and was not overused.
Today, our keiki are learning the lessons of their ancestors with their hands and eyes. The garden sustainability initiative takes concepts out of the books and into the real world, where kids can live what they learn. Ideas are not just words on pages but living things.
At Sacred Hearts and other schools like Lanai High and Elementary, sustainability is an integral part of the curriculum, touching our keiki in many ways. They live and learn the importance of malama 'aina, of eating healthy, of the science behind nutrition, of the value of working as a team the list of lessons learned goes on.
Sacred Hearts School would like to thank Brian Richard, Carrie Kinkade and the folks at Trilogy for making this trip possible. Thank you for the wonderful hospitality, the ice cream for the keiki and, most of all, for the free ride!
Trilogy Excursions is a wonderful, family owned company in operation for over 40 years. You certainly live the ALOHA concept, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Sacred Hearts School embraces the Hawaii School Gardens initiative. To date, over 16 acres of gardens have been planted by Hawaii schools, yielding over 15 tons of food. We look forward to a future where Hawaii is always in bloom!
If you would like to make a donation to the Hawaii School Garden Network, go to kohalacenter.org/hisgn.
Sacred Hearts School enrollment is now open for the 2014-15 school year. Go to www.sacredheartsschool.net for more information or call the office at 661-4720.